Best Boot Dryers

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

20 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
314 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best boot dryers

Last Updated December 2019

A good boot dryer removes moisture much more quickly than leaving footwear to air-dry. Your boots are ready to use again in a fraction of the time. There are other benefits, too. Active drying reduces unpleasant smells from bacteria and helps prevent mold and mildew, which can damage the structure of your boots.

Boot dryers aren’t just a great idea for outdoor enthusiasts; they’re also invaluable for all kinds of workers whose boots get wet during the course of their workday. In those cases, a boot dryer can even pay for itself by reducing the number of extra pairs of boots you need to buy.

Which boot dryer is best? We’ve been looking at all the latest models, and we’ve put together a short list that gives you a good idea of your options in terms of size, performance, and price. The following buying guide takes a more detailed look at individual features, with advice on how to get the most from your boot dryer and answers to some common questions.

Two boots or four? It’s great to dry your boots quickly, especially if you’re itching to get out again. However, if your device can only accommodate one pair, your partner’s boots are left waiting wet on the floor!

Key considerations

Types

PTC: Positive temperature coefficient dryers are among the cheapest boot dryers. These are usually small, portable units that you insert into each boot. An interior ceramic element warms up quickly to a preset level. However, these dryers work quite slowly, so you might have to leave your boots to dry overnight, sometimes longer.

UV: The major advantage of using ultraviolet light is that while it dries the boots, it’s also very effective at killing bacteria, mold, and other organisms. When it comes to footwear, that means your boots are deodorized and sanitized as they dry. These dryers are another inexpensive solution, but they are typically even slower than PTC models, which does affect their popularity.

Gel: These consist of plastic casings filled with silica gel, a desiccant that is excellent at absorbing moisture. What’s more, these dryers require no power source at all, so they would seem ideal for use while camping or hiking. Unfortunately, like UV and PTC dryers, these are quite slow. The gel does eventually get to the stage where it can’t absorb any more moisture, but they can easily be refreshed by leaving them in the sun or at moderate heat in an oven for a couple of hours.

Thermal convection: This is the most common method used by boot dryers. These draw in room temperature air, use a heating element to warm it gently, then circulate it through your footwear. They tend to have quite low energy demands and are very quiet.

Forced air: These use the same principle as convection boot dryers but add a fan, forcing the air across the interior surface of the boot and speeding up drying as a result. While these are the most efficient boot dryers, the fans do create some noise. It’s not particularly intrusive, but it depends on where you want to put your boot dryer. These are also more expensive than other types.

Propane: Designed to be used when camping or in other places where there’s no power supply, these use the convection principle, but with a 16-ounce gas bottle as the power source. They’re fairly efficient (a single bottle can last several days) and very portable, but the initial cost is high. Additionally, they can only be used outdoors. They’re definitely the right solution for some people, but not for most homeowners.

CAUTION

Do not use propane boot dryers indoors. They release carbon monoxide, which is invisible, odorless, and toxic.

Features

Size

Number of boots: Boot dryers can hold either one or two pairs of boots at the same time. The basic design is intended to accommodate ankle-length boots (and shoes, of course). Extension tubes are used for longer boots. Depending on the model, these may be included but often cost extra, which is something to think about when comparing prices.

Gloves and mittens: Gloves and mittens can usually be dried over the standard boot dryer posts, but some dryers provide specific extension tubes or even a separate glove dryer unit (which frees up boot drying space).

Dimensions: If you have a particular location in mind, you might want to look at physical dimensions. Pictures alone can be deceptive. Wall-mounted models aren’t common, but they free up floor space.

Settings

Timer: A timer is quite often supplied. The boot dryers we looked at offer anywhere from 1.65 to 3 hours of drying time. With the more powerful forced- air models, this is often enough.

Heat: One or two models have low and high heat settings, enabling you to dry boots more quickly if necessary.

Warranty

It’s comforting to have a good warranty. It can be as short as one year, though two or three years is not uncommon, and one manufacturer covers their range of boot dryers for a quarter-century!

EXPERT TIP

Look at the length of the power cord. It’s only a small detail, but it’s worth checking. It can be frustrating if you have to keep looking for an extension cord.


Staff  | BestReviews

Boot dryer prices

Inexpensive: The cheapest boot dryers are corded devices that slip into your boots. You can find them for around $15 to $20 per pair. Their main drawback is that they don’t have a fan, just a heating element, so they are slow.

Mid-range: Good-quality convection boot dryers start at around $35 for those that dry a pair of boots and $50 for those that dry two pairs.

Expensive: High-end forced-air models that include a pair of long boot extensions usually run to about $70 or $80. Propane boot dryers are in the region of $100.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

If any part of your boot is very heat sensitive, the safe alternative is to use gel-filled boot dryers. They’re much more portable, too.

Tips

Most boot dryers use warm air, which slowly accelerates drying. As such, they are very gentle on your footwear, regardless of what it’s made from. In fact, during our research, we didn’t find a single incident where any of these devices had damaged boots. Nevertheless, there are a few sensible precautions to take for your boots and for your own safety.

  • Slower is better. Although it isn’t always practical, drying your boots more slowly is better, particularly with leather boots. They typically absorb more moisture than synthetics and trying to dry them too quickly can stress the material.
  • Wipe off excess moisture first. If you’ve just come in and your boots are still dripping wet, put them on some newspaper, paper towels, or a towel first. Give them a quick wipe, too. Avoid getting water on the boot dryer.
  • Never place your boot dryer near another heat source like a furnace or radiator.
  • Read the owner’s manual. Make sure you know how to position your boots properly on the dryer. It not only ensures the most efficient drying, but it also means you won’t block vents, potentially causing the unit to overheat.
  • Condition your boots. Where appropriate, use a conditioner or polish on your boots before you wear them again. This will give them extra protection and reduce the drying time after your next outing.

Other products we considered

The products we’ve recommended above are great for home use, but there are several alternatives that would also be useful for drying your boots if you often travel.

The Kooder Boot Dryers are among the cheapest we found, yet they do the job well so long as you aren’t in a hurry (they create heat, but there’s no fan). They’re compact, but they can be adjusted for length. They’re best for ankle boots rather than knee-high boots. No power? No problem!

The Drysure Extreme Boot Dryers are filled with silica gel, which naturally absorbs moisture to dry boots overnight. With no heating element, they’re perfectly safe, too, even with delicate linings.

The Leapara Boot Dryer is a lot like the typical home models we featured except it folds down into a very neat package for portability. It’s quiet, has a 99-minute timer, and is very competitively priced.

Extension tubes for long boots may or may not be included with a boot dryer. Even when they are, it will normally only be for one pair.

FAQ

Q. Are boot dryers safe to leave unattended?
A.
With electrically powered models, yes, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. There is usually advice about where to place the unit and the maximum run time. UL and CSA certificates, if provided, prove they meet certain standards. As with any device, you should read and follow these instructions for your own safety. Different precautions are required for propane-powered models, which are not intended for indoor use.
 

Q. Are boot dryers expensive to run?
A.
No, and as we’ve seen above, some cost nothing to operate! Electric models don’t use a lot of energy because they produce low heat. Many are comparable to a standard light bulb. If you need to know exactly, you’ll have to do some basic math based on the wattage of each device (the formula can be found online). Propane models run off of affordable 16-ounce bottles.

 

Q. Does a boot dryer need regular maintenance?
A.
Most require none at all, apart from an occasional wipe with a damp cloth to keep them clean. Depending on the model, it might be important to keep an eye on air intakes to make sure they don’t get blocked. This is more likely in homes with pets (because of the extra hair) or when the boot dryer is used in a garage or shed. Just take a quick look each time before you use it.
 

The team that worked on this review
  • Bob
    Bob
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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